CategoryA02. Applied Innovation


Name Company Position
Elisa Chua OMD Singapore Business Director
Sadhan Mishra OMD Regional Business Director
Karen Soo OMD Singapore Digital Director
Melissa Tan OMD Singapore Associate Manager
Riddhi Parekh OMD Singapore Specialist, Performance Media

The Campaign

To maintain a competitive advantage, we had to maximise McDonald’s biggest strengths–the breadth of their store network and the depth of their owned data-to unlock the potential of every restaurant. We focused on innovation within paid search as the channel consistently delivered maximum ROI for McDelivery. Partnering with Google, we developed a global first for any brand in any category; mapping real-time restaurant-level data against paid search spends level via a live API. If demand spiked in an area and delivery wait time was compromised, search spend decreased immediately in response. In areas where there was excess capacity, spends were pushed up and the ad copy celebrated the low wait time. Through this Capacity Based Search Advertising System, each restaurant across 25+ zones in Singapore was able to churn the optimal level of orders and manage customer expectation, resulting in better use of ad-dollars efficiency and a better customer experience.

Creative Execution

The Capacity Based Search Advertising System is housed in the Google script programming environment which is readily available in AdWords and Google Drive, and makes use of the McDonald's McDelivery Status API, refreshed every 5 mins. It takes query responses extracted from the API and transforms them into variables which are compatible with AdWords Scripts which then act as triggers to the campaign management process. Here is how it works: 1)Singapore is divided into more than 25 neighbourhoods using Google’s hyper-local targeting capability. 2)A real-time data feed (API) into McDonald’s nation-wide delivery management system is set up to access customer delivery wait time by neighbourhood every 5 minutes. 3)Using a custom-built coding script, neighbourhoods are then categorised as high, medium or low capacity in real time as demand fluctuates. 4)A set of capacity-based media activation rules in Google AdWords determine how aggressive spends would be in each neighbourhood and what messages would be served – all optimised in real-time. If capacity went up so did search spend levels and the creative celebrated a lower wait time. If capacity went down search spend levels dropped. Ads were paused altogether in neighbourhoods that were not able to deliver due to high demand.

1. More cost-efficient delivery orders. • 35% increase in average monthly ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) in Sep/Oct 2016 vs. target of 10% 2. Increased demand for delivery to restaurants that could accommodate additional demand. • 9% increase in monthly delivery revenue in Sep/Oct 2016 attributed to SEM vs. target of 2% The Singapore success story is now serving as a template for real-time data-driven marketing globally within McDonald’s. “The pilot has been successful and we are planning to roll this out in more markets.” – Silvia Lagnado, Global CMO, McDonald’s Recognition received so far: • Silver Lion at Cannes • Gold: Festival of Media Global • Gold: Festival of Media APAC • Gold: Cristal Awards • Silver: The Internationalist

This case is the marriage of an existing media approach and technology to create an impactful business solution which is a global first for any brand in any category. To maintain competitive advantage for McDelivery (McDonald’s food delivery service), we identified a way to maximise McDonald’s biggest strengths – the breadth of their store network and the depth of their owned data. We created an innovative ad delivery system in partnership with Google, which responded to real-time restaurant capacity to dynamically change ad-spend and messaging in each delivery neighbourhood. This is a success in Singapore and has started going global.